Alabama considers tobacco tax hike
For those of you who read this blog and live in Alabama, I’ll just say that things could be worse. You could live in New York.
I’m sure if you are a smoker, you’ve probably heard the news that state legislators are considering tacking on an additional $1 per pack tax on your smokes.
The proposal, introduced by Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) is hoping to raise the tax an additional buck–bringing the per-pack total to $1.42.
Why? Well, that’s an easy one. It’s all in the name of money and fledgling state economies who are hoping to ease some finanical woes.
Research has shown that consumption typically decreases in the tobacco market when cost rises, but regarless of this fact, Alabama hopes to see an increase in revenue by as much at $200 million or more annually thanks to the hike. That’s a lot of cigarettes.
So what does New York have to do with it? A lot when you consider the perspective on things. New York hasthe highest taxes on tobacco products in the country at just over $4 per pack–and residents usually pay $11 or more…in some cases up to $14 per pack of cigarettes once everything is added up.
Outrageous as it is, the state has made no bones about their financial issues and the desire to use tobacco sales to bring in much needed revenue.
So, if a state is going to tax smokers to make revenue, why not tax other addictive products? I mean…is it really fair to lay it all down on the smoker? Let’s tax everyone who’s addicted to caffeine, or chocolate, or gambling… Of course, its a two-edged sword.
Legislators are also trying to force people out of a habit–they claim its for the improvement in health that they want people to stop, but its also about the millions spent by government every year on the treatment of smoking-related illnesses.
Ranking 47th out of 50 (with Virginia coming in last) Alabama can stand to raise taxes a bit…just don’t get out of control.
- Tax hike on tobacco snuffed out
- John Kasich Pushes Tobacco Tax Hike in Ohio
- The WHO Urges Countries to Increase Tobacco Tax
- $1-per-pack tax hike may hurt cigarette sales
- North Dakota Rejected Tobacco Tax Increase